Managing Your Money in Difficult Times

CSM Partners with Community to Provide Free ‘Money Smart’ Seminars

            The College of Southern Maryland is presenting three ‘Money Smart’ educational seminars at each of its campuses Feb. 18 through Feb. 28 to help provide retirees, new home buyers, existing homeowners facing foreclosure and individuals facing bankruptcy with the financial information they need.

 “Financial literacy fosters stability not only for individuals and families but for our entire community,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “CSM, partnering with a number of regional organizations, wants to help our community maintain its level of prosperity and security as we brace for tough economic times,” Gottfried said. Saving our homes and securing our retirements are among the urgent financial challenges that community partners first wish to address through these seminars, according to Gottfried.

            CSM is partnering with the Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Chambers of Commerce and the St. Mary’s County of Economic Development Department as a team with local financial experts to identify the most pressing issues affecting residents and small business owners in Southern Maryland. These issues are presented in the Money Smart program seminars: “Seizing the Opportunity to Purchase Your First Home,” “Act Now to Avoid Foreclosure and Bankruptcy” and “Taking Control of Your Retirement.” Each seminar is free and will feature local financial experts who will give 10-minute lectures, followed by a question-and-answer session.

            One of the panelists presenting information on planning and securing retirement savings is Christine Parker, president of Parker Financial, LLC, of La Plata. A certified financial plannerä professional, Parker wants participants to know that there are steps they can take now to take control of their retirement savings and financial future.

“Right now people’s confidence levels are shattered and they are nervous about whether or not they can retire as they planned,” Parker says. “Reassessing your tolerance for risk is a first step,” she said, “followed by re-evaluating retirement goals and objectives.”

            David M. Gormley, an attorney at Andrews, Bongar, Starkey & Clagett P.A., in Waldorf, wants to assure people that although this recession is affecting everyone and every business, there are still financial options. “When the second largest electronics retailer goes out of business, struggling small businesses shouldn’t feel alone,” said Gormley who is presenting the sessions on personal and small business foreclosure and bankruptcy. “People are worried that they don’t have options. They do have options, but they may not all be great options.” Gormley will provide information on how to look for alternatives to foreclosure and bankruptcy—without getting scammed. “Bankruptcy laws are changing, but we don’t know how long it will take for them to go into effect,” said Gormley. “People need to take action now.”

            ‘Money Smart’ is part of a national education campaign launched by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to help individuals outside the financial mainstream develop financial skills. As of October, 2008, Money Smart education materials reached nearly 1.5 million consumers.

            President of Parker Financial, LLC, Parker serves as president-elect of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Financial Planning Association and is a retirement planning instructor for CSM, as well as a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Charles County Chamber of Commerce. She earned a Certificate of Financial Planning from Georgetown University. Parker appeared as a panelist on the television program, Fox 5 Money News, “Managing Your Money.”  

            Gormley is a lifelong resident of Maryland. He practices in Maryland and the federal courts, including the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Gormley joined Andrews, Bongar, Starkey & Clagett P.A. after many years handling thousands of bankruptcy and family law cases. Gormley manages real estate and bankruptcy practices, and concentrates on estates, trusts and probate work for the firm. He earned his law degree from University of Baltimore Law School.

            For information on the CSM Money Smart Seminars visit www.csmd.edu/MoneySmart.

 

Calendar

 

Calvert County

 

Money Smart: Seizing the Opportunity to Purchase Your First Home. 9 to 10:30 a.m., Feb. 21, College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, 115 J.W. Williams Road, Prince Frederick. Local financial experts discuss historically low home prices and interest rates, and new programs to assist first-time home buyers. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7602 in Calvert County or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Money Smart: Act Now to Avoid Foreclosures and Bankruptcies. 9 to 10:30 a.m., Feb. 21,  College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, 115 J.W. Williams Road, Prince Frederick. Local financial experts discuss debt, bankruptcy and foreclosure—and options and steps to help protect your financial well-being. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7602 in Calvert County or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Money Smart: Taking Control of Your Retirement. 9 to 10:30 a.m., Feb. 28, College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, 115 J.W. Williams Road, Prince Frederick. Local financial experts discuss factors that caused the 2008 decline in retirement savings, how retirees can reduce exposure to future market downturns and how retirees can take action now to help protect their retirement funds. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7602 in Calvert County or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Charles County

 

Money Smart: Taking Control of Your Retirement.  7:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 19, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Local financial experts discuss factors that caused the 2008 decline in retirement savings, how retirees can reduce exposure to future market downturns and how retirees can take action now to help protect their retirement funds. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Money Smart: Seizing the Opportunity to Purchase Your First Home. 7:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 23, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Local financial experts discuss historically low home prices and interest rates, and new programs to assist first-time home buyers. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Money Smart: Act Now to Avoid Foreclosures and Bankruptcies. 7:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 23, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Local financial experts discuss debt, bankruptcy and foreclosure—and options and steps to help protect your financial well-being. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

St. Mary’s County

 

Money Smart: Seizing the Opportunity to Purchase Your First Home. 7:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 18, College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. Local financial experts discuss historically low home prices and interest rates, and new programs to assist first-time home buyers. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or 240-725-5499 Ext. 7602 in St. Mary’s County or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Money Smart: Act Now to Avoid Foreclosures and Bankruptcies. 7:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 18, College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. Local financial experts discuss debt, bankruptcy and foreclosure—and options and steps to help protect your financial well-being. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or 240-725-5499 Ext. 7602 in St. Mary’s County or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

 

Money Smart: Taking Control of Your Retirement.  7:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 24, College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. Local financial experts discuss factors that caused the 2008 decline in retirement savings, how retirees can reduce exposure to future market downturns and how retirees can take action now to help protect their retirement funds. Refreshments and drawings for door prizes. Free, but reservations are required. Call Christine Bish at 301-934-7602 or 240-725-5499 Ext. 7602 in St. Mary’s County or e-mail cbish@csmd.edu.

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